The Police

You can almost hear the money being counted listening to this double-disc collection of The Police's most notable recordings, such is the blatant cash-in of the reunion tour that this release coincides with. Despite iffy commercial motives, this is a worthy reminder that Sting used to be able to write pretty good songs before the sting left his tail - I wouldn't mind being schooled in some of that tantric sex stuff he gets up to these days, though.

Arranged chronologically, with roughly five or six tracks lifted from each of the band's five albums, the collection is sure to please both devotees and occasional fans. For songs that combine punk and reggae elements, the pop sensibility is still very much to the fore, the likes of Message In A Bottle and Don't Stand So Close To Me proving fine examples of their craft, these song's playfulness and singalong hooks undiminished. The most interesting angle they took with their single releases was to contrast the 'pop' sound with something a bit edgier; check out the threat of suicide to an ex-lover on I Can't Stand Losing You, the deceptive crowd-pleaser So Lonely, and - of course - the timeless love letter from a stalker that is Every Breath You Take.

There are many highlights before and after, such as breakthrough hit Roxanne and some of the more experimental tracks from their later output, although there is bound to be filler across a compilation that covers so much material. There are thirty tracks in total so those seeking a tighter distillation of the back catalogue would be advised to head to iTunes and download the most definitive tracks. Regardless of whether the tracklisting on this double-discer is too inclusive or not, there are enough classic pop moments to make it a winning, albeit late, Father's Day gift. Alas, whether dad or mom, daughter or son, put on your red light and enjoy!



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